Is it okay to cheat? Do you do it?

When I started telling people I am trying to lose weight and get back in shape, I got a lot of opinions and ideas on how to do it. I’m learning that there are as many ways of accomplishing that goal, as people who found what works for them.

Cut out sugar, don’t eat fat, avoid carbs, don’t eat fruit, just eat fruit, test your pH level, eat fat, eat whatever you want but in moderation, never eat grains, eat only plant base foods, just eat protein… and on and on.

One of the suggestions I have heard from several people, including my husband, is to have a “cheat day” each week. You know, a day to indulge and eat whatever you want. I know for a lot of people that works well.

For me it’s a slippery slope to allowing it to happen two, three, or six more days of the week, and I’m not sure why. Maybe once that door is opened, I feel like I’ve broken the “rules” and so fuck it, I might as well eat whatever I want.

Once that happens, another little voice starts whispering in my ear. She says, “You should love your body just the way it is. The average size woman in the US is 14. Embrace your curves. There’s nothing wrong with being a little overweight. Some women my height would love to be 175 pounds. Be happy!”

It is easy for me to listen to her, because I’ve gotten validation about all those things. I see it everywhere. And while those sentiments are good and affirming, they can also give me permission to cheat. Give me permission to go back to overeating, over indulging, and taking my scooter instead of my bike to the store.

How about you? What works for you? Do you give yourself a cheat day? How do you keep it to just one day?

Reader Comments

  1. Mary D.

    I’m thinking the problem is using the word “cheating.” I have been cheating all my life. I started dieting with diet pills at 13 and have used all methods of losing weight (including purging) in an effort to find the cure. Constantly being called fat in high school at 135-145 pounds can turn into a lifelong nightmare, if you believe it. I have lost 35 pounds at least 8 times in my life. But with me, it has always been I’m all in or it’s over. As soon as I let forbidden foods in my diet, the pounds start creeping back on. How can anyone lose weight or maintain a weight loss if they feel like they are cheating every time something tasty touches their lips? Backslider beware. Each time you regain the lost weight, an extra 10-15 pounds is added to that amount!! About 8-10 years ago, after dealing with many medical issues and reaching an all time high weight, I decided I was done dieting. Wrong decision!! My health declined and my joints deteriorated at an alarming rate. When one quits trying, we are telling ourselves that we aren’t worth the extra effort. Now, at a new all time high and being termed “morbidly obese” I have decided to try again. I am doing what I hate to do (1200 calories and counting fats) but I never “cheat.” I have allowed myself lots of treats and have gone over the calorie total or fats on a few days, but now I bank the calories for when I know that I will be going over. I don’t cheat but I allow myself to live like normal people once and awhile. I am down 30 pounds and hope this time it will keep coming off and stay off! Do I have an answer for you? Sorry. Whatever works for you, is the answer. Keep trying if you are truly unhappy with your weight and don’t give up. But most importantly, don’t let others’ opinion dictate how you feel about yourself!! Good luck, Loretta.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Thank you Mary, for sharing your story. I completely agree with you about using words like “cheat”. But that does seem to be the term for it right now – a cheat day. I don’t do cheat days. I am going to wait until I’m at my desired goal, and then get back to what has worked for me my entire life – eating whatever I want, but in moderation (and being active!!)

      I too hate counting calories – so I don’t. I just changed my portion size and I have a good instinct for calories. I am not restricting my fat intake, as much as I am my carb intake.

      Like I said, there are as many methods as people, and we have to find what works best for us.

      Please keep in touch, and share your progress with me, if you want! I would love to hear from you.

      And, congrats on losing 30 pounds…that’s wonderful.


  2. littlemissw

    I don’t have cheat days. If I do, it becomes an obsession (what will I have on my cheat day? How much longer?). I find a little bit of what you fancy is a good thing but I try to limit it to a little and to real luxuries – if I’m going to have a ‘little’ bit of what I fancy it’s going to be Belgian chocolate, not cheap chocolate from the petrol station.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      I’ve been fit most of my life. Food was never a big deal to me. I’ve just started holding on to the pounds after hitting 52 🙁

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